Country Music Fans Caught Misusing Disabled Parking Placards at Stagecoach Festival

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April 30, 2018

DMV investigators issue 106 citations during three-day event

Coachella Valley – The country album “Caught in the Act” could have new meaning for 96 Stagecoach Country Music Festival fans caught in the act of fraudulently using disabled person parking placards. Investigators with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued the misdemeanor citations during an enforcement operation held April 27 to 29. DMV investigators handed out an additional 10 citations to concertgoers who they caught parking in a disabled spot without a placard, bringing the total to 106.

Offenders have their placard confiscated, receive a misdemeanor citation with fines that range from $250 to $1,000, and the violation appears on their driver record.

This is the second consecutive year that DMV investigators have teamed up with the Indio Police Department to conduct a crackdown at the country music festival. During the three-day event, they checked 1,541 placards to ensure they were being used legally.

“We conduct as many as 24 enforcement operations throughout the state each month and publicize the results of those efforts,” said DMV Investigations Chief Deputy Mary Bienko. “By raising public awareness, we hope people will think twice before illegally using a disabled person parking placard. Our goal is not to have to issue a single citation.”

During last year’s 2017 Stagecoach Country Music Festival, DMV investigators checked 816 placards and issued 93 misdemeanor citations.

“When someone misuses a disabled person parking placard, it impedes the mobility of our disabled community,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “I’m asking all able-bodied Californians to save the space.”

Image of a checkpoint at the Stagecoach music festival

The DMV has implemented new procedures aimed at reducing fraud.  Disabled person parking placard applicants must now provide proof of their true full name and birthdate. Placard holders are now limited to four replacements every two years without a medical recertification and they must submit a renewal notice every six years beginning with placards that expire in June 2023. Currently, permanent disabled parking placards expire in June 2019 and are automatically renewed every two years.

Individuals who suspect disabled parking placard misuse are urged to inform the DMV by using an online complaint form or contacting their local DMV Investigations office. It is important to note that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse might be unfounded.

Information about disabled parking placards here.

View and download educational materials here.

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